Appointment Startup Snags L.A. InvestorsThursday, February 7, 2013
L.A. investors have shown a strong interest in a customer-appointment booking startup that recently opened in town.
MyTime, which connects to small businesses’ reservation systems to help them streamline appointment booking and marketing, announced Thursday that it has raised $3 million in funding led by Century City venture capital firm GRP Partners. L.A. angel investors involved in the round include ShoeDazzle Chief Executive Brian Lee, Mahalo Chief Jason Calacanis and Burstly Chief Evan Rifkin.
MyTime has started operating in Los Angeles and plans to expand to greater Southern California before opening in other cities.
The company is looking to simplify the customer appointment booking process the way that OpenTable has simplified restaurant reservations. MyTime integrates into scheduling systems for local salons, car shops and other small businesses to help them organize their customer appointments.
It also has a consumer-facing product that allows people to make appointments to schedule a tune-up, for example, at the local auto shop.
Mark Suster, a partner at GRP Partners, said MyTime has a large customer base to tap into, which bodes well for the company’s growth.
“I think it’s going to build into an enormous business,” he said. “A lot of people have tried to help small businesses and not been that successful.”
The company offers a freemium model to its L.A. small business clients. Businesses can use the basic appointment scheduler for free. But they have to pay to have their business – and their open slots in their schedule – marketed on the website. So a salon, for example, could get its 2 p.m. opening today promoted on the website.
MyTime Founder Ethan Anderson grew up in Los Angeles, which is one reason why he decided to have his San Francisco company launch in the City of Angels.
While many L.A. companies go up north for funding, Anderson came south. He cited longtime relationships with the investors as the reason behind his predominantly L.A. fundraising.
“They’re all people I wanted to work with,” he said of his L.A. investors. “These people know the city well.”